New Sustainability Director Takes the Helm This Fall

By Leslie L.J. Reilly

Arielle LevineGeography professor Arielle Levine’s research and teaching have focused on the issues of sustainability for the past twenty years, including her nine years at SDSU.. She brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and research expertise to her new role as director of the sustainability program.

Levine’s current research focuses primarily on sustainability in ocean and coastal environments.  She recently received an NSF grant to work on a project exploring climate impacts on key fisheries in the California current ecosystem. Much of her work explores sustainability in coral reef ecosystems. She has done a considerable amount of applied work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to ensure ocean and coastal sustainability. Levine is on the Science Advisory Team for the California Ocean Protection Council.

“My research interests center around better understanding people’s interactions with their environment, and how management policies affect these interactions,” Levine said.

When she steps into her new role this fall, she is looking forward to expanding faculty engagement and plans to learn more about what students need.  “I’ve taught GEOG/SUST 170 and I’ve really enjoy getting to know the sustainability students who take this core course, but I think it is important for me to gain a better understanding of what students are hoping to get out of the major, what their career goals are, and what their experiences have been with the current program,” Levine added.

Goals for the major include adding a regular speakers’ series to increase engagement with broader campus sustainability initiatives, and to engage with the community while inspiring students. She is also interested in exploring the possibility of a master’s program in sustainability.  

“I want students to have the best educational experience they can, and to come out of the program with a strong interdisciplinary background with tangible real-world skills and experience,” Levine added.